This German Town Had A Neo-Nazi Problem Until They Came Up With A Brilliant Solution
Battling hate with guile.
Wunsiedel, a small town in Germany, has a big neo-Nazi problem.
Every year, far-right extremists march through Wunsiedel's quaint streets to commemorate the death of Adolf Hitler's deputy führer Rudolph Hess, who was buried in the town cemetery until 2011 when his grave was destroyed and his ashes scattered at sea.
Even after removing Hess' grave, the neo-Nazis still goosestepped into town every August. So locals and activists thought up a new, unconventional solution. They set up the Rechts gegen Rechts (rights against rights) campaign, which pledged to donate €10 (approximately $12.50) to the EXIT Deutschland initiative for every meter the young fascists marched.
According to its website, EXIT Deutschland "helps dropouts to develop new perspectives outside the right-wing environment."
"In other words," says the narrator in the video below, "for every step they take, the neo-Nazis campaign against neo-Nazis, and unwittingly finance more and more defections from the extremist scene."
To alert the right-wing marchers to their counterintuitive plight, organizers handed out bananas for energy, painted distance markers along the route, and hung signs that read, "If only the Führer knew."
The campaign ended up raising nearly $12,500.